ANDHRA PRADESH

Agriculture action plan envisages mass crop diversification

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Under a mass crop diversification programme taken up in the State for the first time this year, paddy, chilli, cotton, tobacco and groundnut cultivated under wells and borewells will be replaced by millets, pulses, oilseeds, soyabean and sunflower over an extent of 25 lakh acres.

This was one of the highlights of the State's Agriculture Action Plan 2005-06 released by the Chief Minister, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, here on Saturday. The 90-page action plan contains projections and targets for the year and the various means to achieve them.

It is based on the feedback received from the farmers during the recent Rythu Chaitanya Yatras.

The Agricutlure Minister, N. Raghuveera Reddy, was present.

Speaking to reporters later, the Chief Minister said that the year would see implementation of the crop insurance scheme covering major crops with village as unit for the first time, beginning with Prakasam, Cuddaph, Anantapur and Mahabubnagar districts.

He said the main aim of the action plan was to increase production and productivity of the crops, reduce the cost of cultivation, ensure sowing of remunerative crops through diversification, encourage organic farming, and increase the credit.

A sum of Rs. 333.2 crores would be spent to achieve them, which is Rs. 158 crores higher compared to the last year's budget.

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